Uber-blogger Marko Saric was the speaker for this month’s Social Media London meetup, and who better to give us tips on building better blogs? As if running one of the world’s top 50 blogs (HowToMakeMyBlog.com) wasn’t enough, Marko also has a full-time blogging job with Party Poker and his Metallica blog became Denmark’s official Metallica fan club when he was just 16.
Here are the key tips I picked up from Marko’s talk about blog promotion and how he landed his job as a blogger for one of the UK’s biggest brands.
How To Get A Blogging Job
I know many of you will want to know how Marko landed his full-time blogging job, so let’s start the round-up with Marko’s tips on landing a job as a blogger:
- Show your face and name on your blog and make your contact info available to make yourself seem credible.
- Be personable and passionate in your blog – show your personality and connect with people.
- Use the tips below on blog promotion to get your blog out there and help people find you.
- Be proactive in getting your name known – send people your work. Don’t wait for them to find you.
How To Promote Your Blog
All blogging advice is useful, but the most useful part of this Social Media London meetup for me was Marko’s tips on blog promotion. As online copywriters we know the basics of writing online, but it’s hard to know how to build a strong readership from scratch. And if anyone would know the answers to these questions, then it would be Marko…
- Encourage people to love or hate you
People are more likely to comment on or share your content if they have something to say about it. Tell people your opinion and they will have a reaction to it, which in turn will encourage more comments.
- Don’t concentrate on “soft numbers”
Marko told us not to concentrate on the statistics that cannot be measured properly or do not bring substantial rewards: things like number of Twitter followers, number of times a post is shared etc. He called these “soft numbers” and advised that we should be concentrating more on how many sales or subscriptions we get as a result of it.
I should say that I don’t completely agree with Marko’s point here. In order for your blog to sell something, it first has to be shared and I’ve seen for myself that the more people follow you on social media or share your content, the more that others trust your content, too. In turn this means more conversions so I’ll definitely still be keeping an eye on my “soft numbers”.
- Connections are key to blog promotion
Marko advised spending 50% of your blogging time writing content, and the other 50% promoting your blog. This might seem like a lot, but this promotion should be based around building connections with other people. Attract two new readers per day through Twitter, comment on other blogs or write guest posts, and over a couple of years you’ll have a strong readership of thousands who know you as a real person.
- Target your promotion to your audience
Everyone wants to know whether Pinterest works as a blog promotion tool, but Marko rightly pointed out that any social media promotion should be targeted according to the audience. For example, Pinterest would work better for a photography blog but LinkedIn might be more useful for a blog about getting an online copywriting career…
- Don’t worry too much about SEO
If you have great content that people want to share and link to, then the search engines will do the rest. Don’t get too hung up on the latest tricks to fool the search engines – put all your energy into promoting your useful content and you will start to see SEO improvements.
- Refine your goals
Every blog should have a goal, whether it’s monetisation, getting yourself a job or building a social media presence. Whatever your goal, focus your site on achieving this and results will follow.
The thing that struck me about this meetup is that Marko has managed to build a global top 50 blog, yet he relies very little on the social media and SEO promotion that everyone else seems to focus on so heavily.
Instead Marko has steadily built his reputation by connecting with potential blog readers on a one-to-one basis, then sending them links to his content based on their interests. It’s a remarkably simple approach but one that obviously generates enough rapport with his readers for them to keep coming back.
Whether you’re going for an online copywriting job or just want to get more readers for your blog, Marko’s success shows one thing – no matter how many fancy marketing tools you have at your disposal, it’s the content combined with a personal touch that still works for bloggers.